MN Nature Activities: Dec 25–31

MN Nature in St Paul, Minnesota, is helping you ring in the new year in style——in the great outdoors! We’ve been proudly sharing outdoor activities with you all year long, with new inspiring ideas weekly. Most events we share are FREE, and they’re often great for the whole family. We hope you’ve been inspired and found a love of the forests, lakes, rivers, prairies of this great state. Here’s to another great year of appreciating nature and all it has to offer us.

12/27/16

Meet the Falcons
1 PM to 3 PM The shoreline cliffs of Tettegouche State Park have played a large role in the recovery of peregrine falcons in the Midwest. Come meet two live members of the falcon family and Jackie Fallon of the Midwest Peregrine Society and learn about our amazing falcons!
Tettegouche State Park (Meeting Room in the Visitor Center)

12/28/16

Wildlife Trek Off the Beaten Path
10:00-11:30 a.m. For endless opportunities to discover nature in its seasonal splendor, the national wildlife refuges are unsurpassed. Explore the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge in one of its finest seasons and sense the pulse of winter wildlife. Observe signs and sounds of the small and large year-round residents of Long Meadow Lake while burning calories on this winter discovery hike. Snowshoes provided, weather permitting.
Minnesota Valley Wildlife Refuge, Bloomington Education and Visitor Center

12/30/16

Winter Fun Day!
10:00 p.m – 4:00 p.m. Join us for a celebration of Winter! Come in and warm up or get outside and play! Fun, family-friendly activities to celebrate the season will be available ALL DAY! Indoor and outdoor games including some on snowshoes (weather dependent), crafts and movies, wildlife science and mind-bending trivia, puzzles, creative contests, and scavenger hunts are sure to keep your blood circulating. All equipment will be provided and it is FREE so we hope to see you here! Schedule of Activities:

10:00, 11:00, 1:00, and 2:00 Story Time by the Fire: stories for preschool through third grade (Hearth Room)
10:00-3:00 Indoor Activities: wildlife science, scavenger hunt, puzzles, birding basics, coloring and crafts
10:00-11:00 Film: Animal Olympians (Auditorium)
10:30-11:30 Outdoor Games (Patio)
11:00-12:00 Family Hike (Hillside Trail)
12:00-1:30 Film: Over the Hedge (Auditorium)
1:00-2:00 Tracks, Scat, and all That-Hike (Hillside Trail)
2:00-3:00 Documentary: Planet Earth: Ice Worlds (Auditorium)
3:00-4:00 A Kick in the Head Poe

Bloomington Education and Visitor Center

Guided Snowshoe Hike
1 PM to 4 PM Join the park naturalist for a guided snowshoe hike in Tettegouche State Park. Snowshoeing is great, low-impact, way to explore the winter forest and the animals that have passed through since the last snowfall. Loaner snowshoes are available for those who need them. We have quite a few pairs, but they will be issued in a first-come, first-served manner, so think about showing up a little early.
Tettegouche State Park

12/31/16

New Year’s Eve Snowshoe Hike
1 PM to 2:30 PM Finish the year at Wild River State Park! Join us for a snowshoe hike to the St. Croix River. Along the way, you may see some of the wildlife that call the park home during the winter. This is a great way to end your 125 mile journey along MN State Parks and Trails for the 125th anniversary of MN State Parks! Cancelled if wind chill is below -15
Wild River State Park – Meet at the Visitor Center.

Game Cameras for Wildlife Presentation
1 PM to 3 PM Ryan Pennesi, naturalist, wildlife photographer, and wildlife biologist, will share his knowledge of “trapping” animals with a game camera. Technical issues regarding the cameras will be covered, as well as how to read the landscape to increase your chances of success. A short hike to some pre-set “camera traps” may reveal some of the animals that call Tettegouche home.
Tettegouche State Park

New Year’s Eve Candlelight Hike
4 PM to 8 PM Grab your family, pack your hat and mittens, and throw on your long-johns for a fun family-friendly New Year?s celebration in the park. Hike miles of candle-lit trails, warm up at one of several roaring bonfires, toast marshmallows and more! This annual event draws nearly 2000 hearty people each year despite frigid temperatures and wind chills. Please join us for a fun and unique way to celebrate 2016 and ring in 2017!
Fort Snelling State Park

Christmas Bird Count
8 AM to 4 PM Take part in the 115th Audubon Christmas Bird Count. Explore the Alexandria count area in search of our winter bird residents. Stay a few hours or spend the whole day. Information collected is used to track migration patterns and changes in winter bird species abundance throughout North America. Meet at the Visitor Center between 7:30 and 8 a.m. for assignment of count areas and a quick refresher lesson on bird identification and counting techniques. You do not have to be an expert birder to participate in this exciting and rewarding event, as we will place experienced birders with less experienced ones, so come enjoy the day. We also will take those willing to count birds at their feeders if you can’t make it to the event.
Lake Carlos State Park

Wildlife Trek Off the Beaten Path
10:00-11:30 a.m. For endless opportunities to discover nature in its seasonal splendor, the national wildlife refuges are unsurpassed. Explore the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge in one of its finest seasons and sense the pulse of winter wildlife. Observe signs and sounds of the small and large year-round residents of Long Meadow Lake while burning calories on this winter discovery hike. Snowshoes provided, weather permitting.
Minnesota Valley Wildlife Refuge Bloomington Education and Visitor Center